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Ball Joints
Posted by: jamesolefjensen ()
Date: August 12, 2020 11:42PM

Sorry in advance if I am covering old ground. I'm in the market for new lower ball joints. Is Clark's pretty much the gold standard these days?

Also, this is the second go around on ball joints in about 8 years and less than 50,000 miles. Hard miles for sure but with regular shots of grease; is this a typical lifetime?

James
65 Corsa
SF Bay Area

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: August 13, 2020 04:44AM

I don't think they are better or worse. The stock GM front end parts didn't last forever either.

Lee J

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: texas yenko dude ()
Date: August 13, 2020 05:23AM

I would say the 'gold standard' is finding NORS TRW made in the USA ball joints. I just sold a full set to Craig Nicol.

I hardly call anything made in China the gold standard.

Texas YENKO Dude
YS-070
YS-199
YS-320
Southeast of Disorder


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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: August 13, 2020 05:50AM

The old ball joints, I remember only lasted about 50k. Lots have to do with road conditions drove on and driving techniques. Dirty bumpy roads and young aggressive driving with me with some of my cars and they lasted about 35k. Other cars I was driving in city and interstate driving and I got 60 - 70k.

New cars probably longer than the cars of the 60s - 80s. My 99 Silverado went 96K miles with no grease fittings. It went all over Fort Stewart Army post on the dirt clay roads (wet and dry). Dealer asked if I went off road and I told him no. Never got off the Post's roads. Warranty replacement for entire steering system as it was worn out.

So for my Vairs, I doubt I will get any of them up to 50k by the time they will be moved onto other caretakers. Any ball joint will be fine, but I look for Moog.

Al
Georgia

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: isucorvair ()
Date: August 13, 2020 08:26AM

I put Clarks in my Autocross car, then beat the snot out of it. The passenger lower made it 2 autocross seasons, and is loose again.

I found some NOS GM, but one is already loose...before installing, loose up and down, and side to side.

I've been on the hunt for NORS from TRW or Moog.


Eric P.
DeWitt, IA

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: v8vair ()
Date: August 13, 2020 11:07AM

Grease them regularly

1965 Crown V8 Racer
1964 Bill Thomas Monza Replica Racer
1964 Spyder Street Car
1979 Mazda RX7

Mike Levine

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: August 13, 2020 03:32PM

isucorvair Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I put Clarks in my Autocross car, then beat the snot out of it. The passenger lower made it 2 autocross seasons, and is loose again.
>
> I found some NOS GM, but one is already loose...before installing, loose up and down, and side to side.
>
> I've been on the hunt for NORS from TRW or Moog.
>
>
> Eric P.
> DeWitt, IA
That was my same experience with the NOS GM ones. Loose out of the box is a fail to me. They will not get any tighter with mileage. I agree with Chris; the old TRWs were great. So were the Moogs.

Lee J

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: August 13, 2020 04:08PM

Moog at one time offered "Adjustable" Ball Joints.
Some folks had good luck with them, others, not so much.
I doubt they are available in today's market.
My preference would be the older TRW made in USA versions if they can be found.

P.S.
I just had replacement ball joints installed in my '65 convertible so I'll see how they hold up.
I also had them installed in my '65 coupe a couple years ago but it won't see the road for a couple more the way I am going.

1962 95 F.C. Van
1965 Monza Coupe
1965 Monza Convertible
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2020 04:11PM by Caraholic4life.

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: August 14, 2020 02:58AM

Maybe you (people) are too "sensitive". Or, the quality of replacement parts is declining.

Rebuilt front suspensions around 100,000 miles. Not sure it really needed it then

Did have Moog adjustable ball joints installed on one iteration. Did have one fail (stud broke / sheared off), but do not know the mileage (well looked it up - 120,000 miles). May have been lax in my maintenance (greasing) on my part? Or, got lazy on suspension rebuilds?

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: August 14, 2020 07:18AM

Beware of eBay sellers offering NOS TRW joints. I bought one and it was nearly rusted out. If you do buy from eBay,be sure to get a return policy, you may need it.

Bob Vair
Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza DP Racecar
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: jamesolefjensen ()
Date: November 15, 2020 11:21AM

Follow up:

I replaced the lower ball joints with a set of Clark's. Everything went fine.

One thing I noticed is that when the front suspension was in full droop, I could not detect any slop. But when I jacked up on the lower arm under the spring and put full weight on it, I could wiggle the spindle around pretty significantly. Not sure if this will make any difference, but I plan to grease the ball joints with the jack under the arm from now on.

I need an alignment but with the rainy season coming in, I doubt I'll be driving it much between now and the spring. (Bummer). Its a great little driver but it leaks and has no heater.

James
65 Corsa
SF Bay Area

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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: November 15, 2020 01:31PM

I am running my original BJs at now close to 120K miles. When this BJ discussion started again earlier the year I went out a tested them again. Loaded, unloaded. I even went to you tube to check out my procedure. The a little, Vairy little movement on any of them. My last set of tires date coded out and the tread was still good with about 30 K miles on them. The car handles great nothing to notice on bumps and turns. I've always been a believer the grease and oil are cheap and repairs are expensive. I've owned the car since it was almost new. My job required a lot of trips between Bethlehem Pa and Dayton Ohio. More than 500 miles each way. I always changed the oil at 2K or less since its a Turbo. So if I had 1 K on the oil and needed to go to Dayton it got changed early so I wouldn't go past 2K before I returned home. Obviously it got greased as well. Now I don't always get 2k miles per year any more, but it gets oil and grease once a year anyway.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: Ball Joints
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: November 15, 2020 07:10PM

I have quite a few NOS lower control arms and all of them, the ball joint has movement in them. I believe that is the way that Chevrolet intended them to be, otherwise, they would have rejected all those..

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Woodstock CT... Located on the Connecticut / Massachusetts border, approximately 6 miles from the center of Southbridge MA. About 45 minutes from Hartford CT. 1 1/2 hours West of Boston MA. Woodstock CT to Los Angeles CA 2,937.1 miles. 1 Mile as the crow flies to Big Bird's nest.

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